NCAT’s specialists in the Rocky Mountain West region provide technical assistance and education to communities in the northern Great Plains and Intermountain West. Our mission is to help people by championing small-scale, local, and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities, and protect natural resources. We help to address challenges in sustainable agriculture, local foods, energy efficiency and conservation, and community resiliency.
Through our sustainable agriculture projects, including our ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program, we can help new and beginning farmers, as well as established growers through hands-on and personalized training and resources. Our agriculture staff are professionals with hands-on as well as academic knowledge and experience in a variety of topics, including sustainable and organic production, livestock, managed grazing, marketing, crops, farm insurance and risk management, and transitioning to sustainable production. The SIFT (Small scale Intensive Farm Training) farm is an urban 3-acre farm on our headquarters property in Butte, Montana, which also provides training opportunities and support to the local community through food donations.
You can find more information on our projects below:
Rocky Mountain West Specialists
Rocky Mountain West Regional Director
Andrew Coggins has been at NCAT since July 2016. He has extensive experience in large-scale agriculture, small grain production, and large-scale machinery operation. At NCAT, Andrew currently oversees a staff of six specialists with a broad range of expertise, with responsibilities for project management, budgets, and personal development. In addition, he works with John on the SIFT farm to oversee this budget and sustainable project development/research opportunities, as well as managing his own project work and contributing to NCAT’s publication and other media production where possible.
Tammy Howard is an agriculture specialist at NCAT’s Rocky Mountain Office in Butte, MT. She specializes in beginning farm business planning and working with veteran beginning farmers through the Armed to Farm program. She also assists farmers markets with capacity building and food access, including SNAP authorization. She lives in Belgrade with her family and runs a small flower farm. Contact Tammy with questions on SNAP authorization, business planning and marketing, and general horticulture topics.
Sustainable Agriculture Specialist
Al is the Associate Coordinator of the Western SARE Professional Development Program. He also is NCAT’s Growing for Stewardship project coordinator and is one of NCAT’s staff liaisons to Apsaalooke Abundance is Here, a Crow food access and sovereignty group. He has worked on other sustainable agriculture and food systems programs for over 30 years. Contact Al for questions on program and project evaluation, farm to school initiatives, bioenergy, oilseeds processing, SARE funding, and working with Native American communities.
Local Foods Specialist
Kei coordinates the Montana Harvest of the Month program for institutions, food businesses, and community organizations. She works with producers and food service directors to offer training, technical assistance, materials, and resources for the purpose of growing farm to cafeteria participation in Montana. Montana Harvest of the Month is the perfect way to launch or grow a farm to cafeteria program, as it provides an easy-to-use framework and ready-to-use materials. Contact Kei for questions regarding Montana Harvest of the Month, farm to school or farm to cafeteria, and other intermediated markets, such as farm to grocery.
Agriculture and Natural Resource Economist
Jeff is an Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist and specializes in crop insurance, organic and sustainable economics and marketing, conservation policy, and biotechnology.
Sustainable Livestock Specialist
Dave operates Montana Highland Lamb in Whitehall, Montana, and specializes in the following topics:
• Regenerative grazing-planning and implementation
• Integration of livestock with crops
• Sheep, goat, and cattle feeding and health
• Integrated Small Ruminant Parasite Management
• Direct marketing of farm produced meat
Sustainable Agriculture Specialist
John manages the SIFT demonstration farm located in Butte, Montana, which offers workshops and technical training for small-scale intensive farming. Educational topics include season-extension tools for southwest Montana, effective varieties for the regional climate, and regenerative soil practices. John works to strengthen local food systems by donating the produce grown to community organizations that help increase food access for low-income and disadvantaged residents. Contact John for questions on the SIFT farm, urban or market gardening, micro-irrigation, or choosing varieties to grow in southwest Montana.